What’s a girl to do when she’s got her degree but can’t climb the corporate to a real job? Pretend to be the boss while she’s on the mend.
Tess (Melanie Griffith) just turned thirty, is trying to get ahead in New York’s corporate jungle but never taken seriously. For example, her old boss set her up as a hot date when she thought it would be a business meeting. Now she’s working as a secretary for Katharine (Sigourney Weaver) who listens to her ideas and wants to help her get ahead. Or so Tess believes. When Katharine breaks her leg on a ski trip, Tess discovers that Katharine plans on using her idea without giving her the proper credit. So Tess takes matters into her own hands and pulls together a business merger on her own. But how long before she’s revealed as just a secretary?
Oh yeah, along the way she teams up with Jack (Harrison Ford), an investment broker. It’s with Jack’s connections and Tess’s daring wit that they’re able to take such an unlikely investment so far. Of course, they start to mix business with pleasure, making the situation even muddier.
My favorite scene is where Tess tells Jack that they have a “meeting” with a client. By meeting, she means that they’re going to crash his daughter’s wedding to arrange a meeting with him while he’s in a good mood. After Jack slugs down some drinks for courage they both walk around putting on a show like they’re old friends with everyone there. Even hit the dance floor, where business is casually discussed while they’re on the verge of being kicked out by the bride. It’s smart and hysterical without becoming corny.
Now, Working Girl was nominated for six Oscars and won one. The nominations were for best picture, director, lead actress (Melanie Griffith), and two for supporting actresses (Sigourney Weaver and Joan Cusack). All those fell short, but they did win for Best Original Song, Let the River Run. Meh.
There are lots of movies out there about working women trying to get ahead, maybe they pull a charade and have crazy bosses. Working Girl doesn’t really stand apart, just another pretty flower in the bouquet.
I will suggest this if you are a fan of Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Cusack or Harrison Ford. They’re always fun to watch. Also, if you miss the days of big hair, scary makeup and shoulder pads, this could be a fun little trip to the ‘80’s.
“Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn’t make me Madonna. Never will.”